Pastor Rafael B. Cruz could not possibly have walked a New Orleans street with Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.
If the Cuban refugee and father of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz had known Oswald back then, surely he would have written a book, like everyone else who ever met or spied on the former Fort Worth resident accused of killing President Kennedy.
Just in time for the world premiere of JFK at Fort Worth Opera, the assassination resurfaced as political fodder this week, although probably too late to work in a scene for tenor Ted Cruz and basso profundo Donald J. Trump.
The Trump-leaning National Enquirer supermarket tabloid claimed that a photo and video show Rafael B. Cruz, then 24 and the father of a 21-month-old and a 9-month-old, distributing pro-Castro literature on Camp Street, either spying on or siding with Oswald three months before the assassination.
The Cruz campaign described the claim as “garbage” and “rubbish.” Or maybe that was the Enquirer in general.
Both the older and younger Cruz have been the target of “twisted stories” almost since Ted Cruz’s original 2012 campaign for the Senate, said evangelist Ralph Holland of Coppell-based Ministerios Mundo de Fe (“world of faith”). He ordained Rafael B. Cruz in 2004, he said.
[Rafael B. Cruz is] a great man of God who speaks with great conviction — a very powerful speaker.
Evangelist Ralph Holland of Coppell-based Ministerios Mundo de Fe
“I grieve at times” over the campaign smears against both Cruzes, Holland said, mentioning an earlier Enquirer claim about Ted Cruz’s personal life.
Many of those false smears also involve Rafael B. Cruz, Holland’s ministry network and Mundo de Fe churches.
The elder Cruz has traveled in Latin America as an evangelist and translator for Mundo de Fe affiliates. He taught in the church’s former Instituto Avance ministerial school in Carrollton, Holland said.
In the “gotcha” political game, that is described as “he doesn’t even have a church” or “claimed to be a professor.”
Mundo de Fe churches are charismatic, nondenominational Christian churches, Holland said. Several Dallas-Fort Worth churches are among the far-flung affiliates.
The elder Cruz also preached briefly under the name “Purifying Fire Ministries,” but dropped it when he learned the televangelist Hinn family used the same name, Holland said.
Rafael B. Cruz’s Mundo de Fe church network is charismatic, nondenominational Christian, while son Ted Cruz remains a Southern Baptist.
Holland described Rafael Cruz as “a great man of God who speaks with great conviction — a very powerful speaker.”
His book, A Time for Action, tells his story of fleeing Cuban oppression for American freedom; going to the University of Texas at Austin, marrying and divorcing; moving to Canada with former Fort Worth resident Eleanor Wilson, where Ted was born; taking up politics in 1980 as part of the Moral Majority-affiliated Religious Roundtable; and leaving the oil industry and computer work for the ministry.
If he had another vivid story to tell, he would have been telling it long ago.